The Manual #1

The Manual is an exquisitely crafted journal discussing the web design profession, where the creators love shines on every page.  A love which invades your mind space. Reading like a call to arms challenging my thinking, while purposing solutions along with starting points from which to explore new ideas.  6 articles, 6 lessons shout out at me, invading my process.

Dan Rabin carried me back to my youth, a world full of fascination and possibility, destroying carefully formed and curated ideas – it’s wonderful.

Writing about the development of the web – how print conventions have crossed over and become part of the web process – webpage, below the fold are all similar. These print conventions have quietly been influencing web design choices. It doesn’t have to be this way. The screen is a window with the potential of infinite visual promise. Tim Berners-Lee talked about a network of connected information, referring to information as ‘nodes’ more than pages or documents. From this day forth I think in ‘nodes’.

Solidifying this thought, Frank Chimero writes, “The web is people all the way down”. Elegantly explaining himself – ‘The web is complex and shallow, people are simple and complex’, I say, think of the user as a person and not as a data point. Respect and embrace that challenge, don’t be fearful of where that might lead.

Simon Collison enforces with process.  Calling for all to craft something. Tools don’t make craftsmen, understand the goals of the project, solve these using visual grammar.

I have always held a steadfast belief in the value of ‘shut up and listen’ – you learn more. Jon Tan enforces this with a gripping real life account, giving a lesson to respect others and not to impress your values or needs onto others for “they surprise you with their smiles”.

Liz Danzico and The Standardistas both present similar thoughts. Liz writes about how a design is about choice – the things you leave out says as much about the design and process as they things you include. Which the Standardistas telling me to be more critical and analytical in my thinking and approach.

The Manual #1 has become a personal manifesto of sorts, constantly challenging my thinking and process. Pointing at new avenues of explorations, never letting me settle.

Thank you Fiction for publishing such a work, to the authors for sharing your words, and to Andy McMillan, Carolyn Wood, and Jez Burrows for creating The Manual.

Looking forward to The Manual #2.

(The image above is my copy with notes).